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Best setup for Beolab90's with multiroom

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Ditlev
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Ditlev posted on Mon, Sep 17 2018 3:19 PM

Hello, 
I'd love your feedback on how to build the perfect setup around the BL90s. 
Incl. Vinyl, and Tidal streaming.

I will have Bluesound multiroom all over the house, but wondered if I should go 'better' for the BL90s. 

Thank you for your feedback, appreciated!

:)

D

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Geoff Martin
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Hi,

If you're using streaming, then I would recommend one of the lossless ones. Tidal HiFi, Deezer premium, Qobuz - any of the flac-based services should be fine. But remember to turn off the post-processing in your player. Usually that has some name like "sound check" or "level equalising" - it's typically some kind of compression if you're unlucky - it's just a static volume offset if you're not...

Vinyl... Don't forget that you'll need a RIAA preamp, unless, of course, you get a BeoGram 4500 with the preamp built-in.

Typically, I use:

  • a BeoVision 11 connected to the 90's using wired Power Link
  • The bulk of the "heavy lifting" is done by an Oppo 105 Blu-ray player is connected to the BV11 via HDMI and to the 90's directly using S-PDIF and XLR in parallel. When watching program material with video content or listening to multichannel music on DVD-Audio and SACD, everything goes through the BV11, of course. When it's a PCM audio file (meaning a NAS drive streaming to the Oppo as a DLNA renderer, Tidal, a CD, or a DVD-Audio) then the S-PDIF is used. When it's a DSD format (on my stereo SACD and DSD files) then the XLR output is used
  • an old BeoGram tt with a simple third-party RIAA preamp connected directly to the RCA inputs of the BL90's.
  • Google Chomecast Audio connected via Toslink.
  • I've also been testing Volumio on a Raspberry Pi, outputting to the BL90's on USB audio. This works surprisingly well, given the price...

Remember in all cases to make sure you have full-scale going into the BL90's and that you have set the input sensitivities correctly. This means that you're adjusting the volume control in the 90's. This keeps you signal-to-noise ratio optimised at all times.

Hope this helps!

Cheers
-geoff

 

Ditlev
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Ditlev replied on Mon, Sep 17 2018 4:36 PM

That's very helpful Geoff, thank you so much! The advisors we are using liked the Oppo as well. 

We haven't had a TV for many many years, and were not planning to have one now. Though, if we did have one, it would probably be a more anonymous TV, like the Samsung Frame or something along those lines - that would not be an in-your-face-TV. 

Would it be doable to replace the BV11 with a Samsung? Or is the Wired Power Link you mentioned from the BV11 key to the setup?

It's a real problem for us that most home-sound advisors are not that 'into' B&O, it's a struggle for us to get them to look at it. And equally, it's a problem that when talking with B&O ... it's super hard to get them to think outside of the B&O productlines (I guess that is natural though :))

Thanks again for your input though, Geoff!

:)

D

Millemissen
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Ditlev:

Would it be doable to replace the BV11 with a Samsung? Or is the Wired Power Link you mentioned from the BV11 key to the setup?

Maybe I can answer that question!

You don’t need a BV11 - Geoff just described his own setup.

But a modern (BSys4-based) BV can be very helpfull and can add some extra value to a BL90 setup even if you don’t prioritize movie watching.

A simple V1-32 can do the job - because in regards to audio capacities it s not simple at all.

It is small and not dominating the room, if you place it properly.

Just something to consider - you can get these small gems second hand relatively cheap nowadays.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Mr 10Percent
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Ditlev:

That's very helpful Geoff, thank you so much! The advisors we are using liked the Oppo as well. 

......

It's a real problem for us that most home-sound advisors are not that 'into' B&O, it's a struggle for us to get them to look at it. And equally, it's a problem that when talking with B&O ... it's super hard to get them to think outside of the B&O productlines (I guess that is natural though :))

I’m going through the same process too. I’m not overly happy with the NAS/BV Eclipse/BL90 routing and the Oppo 105D interface is not very good and relatively slow to use.

Of course this is all compounded by B&O not making an all-in-one digital music server matched for the BL50/90 capabilities which means stepping out of the eco-system to find an eloquent non-B&O solution in a sea of audiophile BS, snake-oil salesmanship, equipment costs with margins that must be so high it would make B&O blush and finally trying to find the all-important user-interface which works in a way that I want. 

Even trying to use common sense on USB and coax cable sourcing over 6m in length seems to be impossible without major tut-tuts.

 

 

Millemissen
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Ditlev:

I will have Bluesound multiroom all over the house, but wondered if I should go 'better' for the BL90s. 

May I ask what is it that you want ‘better’ or different, that what the Bluesound does?

Seems a nice option, when you already have a Bluesound multiroom setup.....and you are not into tv sound.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Mr 10Percent
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Millemissen:

May I ask what is it that you want ‘better’ or different, that what the Bluesound does?

Seems a nice option, when you already have a Bluesound multiroom setup.....and you are not into tv sound.

To jump-in on the OPs question, is that I find the BL90s give you a taint of Audiophile inadequacy Syndrome. i.e, you start to hear things or not, you start to question whether this is right or wrong or could be better. I listen to a lot my BeoSound 5 library now via a NAS, and some tracks are good, some are awful which is probably the recording. However, the question creeps in “are the BL90s revealing something else - a weakness in the chain that is not a recording? 

I don’t do this analysis for a living and often find I don’t have enough time to listen to my music as it is but sometimes the BL90s make me sad over say an old pair of BL4s because I know the BL4s are what they are and can do no better. 

Having moved to a new flat with plenty of stone walls in June, I recalibrated the BL90s and the change in sound and imaging was truly stunning and no-doubt the ARC was doing its job big-time. I have questions about my NAS and moreover about the music player in the BVEclipse. The interface is very clunky (not like the mk1 Avant) and hi-Res album art becomes very low res on the screen. It is no longer a pleasure to operate. The Beo App ain’t much fun either.

I have looked at the Aurillic line up, Bluesound, Aurender, Digibit Aria, plus a few others etc..... and at each price point. There’s a big combo choice with many questions for the in-experienced monkey-coffin Buyer:-

Why the price range difference? Is there a tangible difference between Performance of Bluesound (£1k) and Aurender N10 at £8k?

Does the product have a DAC I don’t need?

Does the product have my favoured interconnects (coax for me)

Does the product have Storage and preferably a direct to disc Ripper?

Does the product have a good control interface and does that control work with B&O kit in a good way?

 

Having never purchased separates before (bar the Oppo), it is a little daunting. Unashamedly, in the past I could just go to my B&O Dealer, buy what I wanted (could afford) and know it would all work together with a single remote and no fuss. Those days seem to have gone with non-intuitive apps, LG user interfaces and a loudspeaker system which shouts “give me 3rd party equipment”

 

Millemissen
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Mr 10Percent:

Millemissen:

May I ask what is it that you want ‘better’ or different, that what the Bluesound does?

Seems a nice option, when you already have a Bluesound multiroom setup.....and you are not into tv sound.

Why the price range difference? Is there a tangible difference between Performance of Bluesound (£1k) and Aurender N10 at £8k?

Now, my question was for Ditlev.

Since he seems already to have a Bluesound multiroom setup (or did I misunderstand that?).

If he is content with how that works, why not use the Bluesound with a digital output for the 90’s?

 

The processing is done in the 90’s anyway.

Sure, there might be performance differences in the source devices - but I am not sure this has much to do with the price differences, not at all.

By the way - I think there was much inspiration in the post from Geoff....several non-B&O devices mentioned.

No one is forced to use a B&O devices as the one and only device for the 90’s - the beauty of these speakers is that they are so versatile.

 

As for user interfaces - this is a very personal thing....I am pleased with the Bang & Olufsen app, others seem to hate it.

I could use a BS Core with the 90’s.....if I had them at home.

And I would surely connect my OPPO as well - and my BV Avant.

 

I just wanted to hear from Ditlev, what he would miss using the Bluesound in combination with the 90’s?

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Mr 10Percent
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Millemissen:

1. Now, my question was for Ditlev.

2. Since he seems already to have a Bluesound multiroom setup (or did I misunderstand that?).

3. If he is content with how that works, why not use the Bluesound with a digital output for the 90’s?

4. The processing is done in the 90’s anyway.

5. Sure, there might be performance differences in the source devices - but I am not sure this has much to do with the price differences, not at all.

6. By the way - I think there was much inspiration in the post from Geoff....several non-B&O devices mentioned.

7. No one is forced to use a B&O devices as the one and only device for the 90’s - the beauty of these speakers is that they are so versatile.9

8. As for user interfaces - this is a very personal thing....I am pleased with the Bang & Olufsen app, others seem to hate it.

9. I could use a BS Core with the 90’s.....if I had them at home.

10. And I would surely connect my OPPO as well - and my BV Avant.

 

MM,

1. I made it clear I was hijacking the answer as I have the same problem as Ditlev. I too await his response.

2. He states he does

3. As per my enquiry, he seems not to be happy or is concerned that the performance is not sufficient to get the best out of the BL90s

4. I know this and have more experience of this than anyone on Beoworld save for Geoff Martin himself. 

5. That is the niggle both Ditlev and myself have - were trying to quantify

6. He does, but the solution may not be optimal and hence both Ditlev and myself are describing information for more  help

7. Yes, well aware of that thank you

8. Yes, we all have expectations and preferences. We have each other’s view point

9. Both Core and the music renderer in the BV Eclipse are a question mark - same as point 3 above

10. Yes, my Oppo is connected to my BL90s. As stated, the Oppo interface is slow and clunky

 

thank you for listening.

Ditlev
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Ditlev replied on Tue, Sep 18 2018 10:50 AM

This is a new house we are building. It's still 4-6 months away. So we do not have bluesound in place yet, though it is the plan. 

In another house I have a mix of Bluesound and Sonos. With DALI speakers and Rotel (for random rooms) amplifier with Sonos ...and then Lyngdorf amplifier with Bluesound for main listening room. I also have Sonos hooked up to the Lyngdorf as a source, and I feel I can clearly hear the difference when sending Tidal through Sonos vs Bluesound on the Lyngdorf. 

So, that made me think, hmm - I wonder if there is something even better than Bluesound...The BL90 investment certainly justifies it. 

Technically I am not at all up to speed with how things are connected or what the prerequisites are to making BL90's work with other non B&O systems. This was really an open question to those of you who either are experts (like Geoff, thanks again) or those of you who have the BL90's at home (thanks to you as well)...

I actually prefer the SONOS APP/UX to Bluesound, but the difference is smaller and smaller now. It's like Spotify vs Tidal - Spotify is still better, but the Tidal sound quality justifies the sacrifice. 

Thanks again for your replies...your input is appreciated!

:)

Millemissen
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To 1. No problem in hijacking - we are staying on the subject.

I was just eager to hear the answer from Ditlev.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Geoff Martin
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Ditlev:

Would it be doable to replace the BV11 with a Samsung? Or is the Wired Power Link you mentioned from the BV11 key to the setup?

Hi,

If the TV has a line output, then it will work - assuming that you are only using the BL90's with the TV (not in a multichannel set). The only issue to worry about is that you must set the BL90's latency to LOW - ensuring that you have lip-sync.

If the TV only has a headphone out, then you could use this to connect to the RCA input of the BL90's - but remember to set the input impedance to LOW to prevent problems with the (likely) Class-D headphone amps in the TV.

If you want a multichannel system with your TV, then this may present a problem due to BL90's latency. I know of very few third-party AVR / Surround Processors that are able to delay the other loudspeakers in a system to wait the 25 ms (or 100 ms in high latency mode) necessary for BL90's processing. This latency is handled automatically by B&O "surround processors" 

 

I forgot to mention that I've also tested the Auralic Aries and the Aries Mini (digitally) with the 90's - and both work quite well wrt audio quality.

 

Much of the discussion here has been about user interface. My opinion is that (assuming a UI works - all of the time...) this is primarily an issue of personal preference.

 

Finally, I just realised that the title of this thread is specific to Multiroom. The BL90's will not live happily in a non-B&O multiroom setup due to latency issues. The lowest latency available on the BL90's is 25 ms, which will very likely be audible as an echo in a multiroom configuration - unless your rooms are very far apart or reasonably well-isolated...

 

Cheers
-geoff

AdamS
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AdamS replied on Wed, Sep 19 2018 1:18 PM

Plugged into my BL90s, I have:

- Turntable, phono stage and CD player plugged into a preamp, into the XLR inputs

- A/V receiver that does Freesat TV, DVD, Blu-ray and Spotify into the RCA inputs

- BeoSound 9000 into the Powerlink input

I must admit I've not noticed any latency issues on the video but then i'm not really a 'critical viewer'. My critical faculties are saved for the listening and I can assure you that there are absolutely no issues at all on that front!

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